I've actually found it easy to deal with, as long as you give it what it needs. I rinsed it several times before adding it to my tank. It was very cloudy at first but it settled within hours.
I stir it once a week using my fingers to keep gas pockets from forming. You don't need to stir it vigourously, just enough to aerate it. It tends to settle extremely quickly and I don't get a cloudy tank as a result. This could be due to the fact that I am using aquarium specific sand, however, not play sand or pool filter sand.
Cleaning it is both simple and tricky. I hated it at first, because I had a lot of shrimp and snails, which pooed all over it and it looked terrible, because of course the poo stays on top. Then my sorority girls ate all those critters, and now it looks pretty good. To clean it, you hover your gravel vacuum over the top and the dirt (in theory) get sucked up. Generally, I end up getting some sand up, too.
Gravel is much easier to deal with, but sand does have a lovely look to it. If you are prepared to put in the extra work, it's nice.